So, last night I finally trekked over to Justin/Budda's place to check out the Sims custom, and the Roadster.
For a quick summary of in-the-room tones and gear involved, please view this video. For more details, see below. Also, I forgot to get any video of me
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwNUQLu5kNE]YouTube - Gear Day[/VIDEO]
Alright, first off, the question everyone's probably asking: how was the Sims?
In my opinion, it was a really nice guitar. Looks even more beautiful in person (the figuring on the back looks amazing, the ebony board definitely has some wavy-ness going on in the grain, and the top looks really really good), and the shape definitely makes more sense when you see someone holding it. The bottom is slightly offset like a Jazz Bass, which looks good in playing position.
Feel-wise, it's definitely got a Gibson feel to the neck, though it flattens out in the higher frets, and the heel is non-existent. Your hand just fits comfortably into the body until you're suddenly (and very easily/comfortably) fretting on the neck pickup The body is nicely contoured and fits snugly against you. The body's got some heft to it, without being really heavy. You hardly notice you're wearing it.
We both agreed the frets were a little too big for our liking, and the pickup selector is definitely wired backwards But the tonal options and their layout (other than being backwards) were very cool.
The pickups sound nice, neck definitely has a PAF vibe to it, bridge is a little hotter. I think I prefer my Duncan JB, with its extra bite, but still nice pickups.
Next up: the amp.
The Roadster's an amazing amp, and I definitely was feeling GAS. Channel 1 had 3 completely different and completely usable tones, same with channel 2 (though we both agreed we'd love to try it out with the Stiletto mod). Channel 4 on modern was exactly what you'd expect, pure Mesa gain, and Channel 3 (I think we had on vintage?) sounded sweet too. My AX110XL just sounded massive through this amp, and the bitey tone of the JB (especially split on the clean channel) complemented the slightly dark overall Mesa tone.
The Bodenhamer TS7 I had tried before, but was even more impressed through the Mesa than I was through the JSX.
We tried out the JSX after a while to compare with the Mesa, and while I thought it sounded really good, the Mesa was on a different level. The JSX is definitely easier to tweak, and can do certain things really well, but the Mesa can do those things too, and probably better with enough tweaking, and just had overall a deeper punch (shocking, I know). I'd be really interested in trying out the 2010 Rects since the improvements they've made have really got my attention.
The real surprise, for me, was the Agile 3100. I knew all the other gear would be pretty amazing, but the Agile really surprised me. For the price, it absolutely destroys any Epiphone, and a lot of Gibsons I've played. The neck felt really nice, it was heavy as fuck and even the stock pickups were useable. The little finishing issues (mainly the control cavity covers not being a perfect fit, and the screws not being perfectly flush) don't bother me at all for the price you pay for those things, and are all on the back, so who fucking cares? I'm not sure if it's a photo-flame or not, but it looked decent (not as nice as the Sims, but what do you expect? ).
Alright, the real reason everyone's here: the tone! I got a bunch of random stuff recorded and tried to pick out the best. This is all just random noodling, so a lot of it's pretty rough (especially my clips ). The mic position probably wasn't perfect, but it'll give you some idea.
First up, my Ibanez AX110XL with Semour Duncan JB, played by me, through the TS7 and Roadster:
AX Clean (split)
Next a couple clips of Justin with the Sims custom through the TS7 and Roadster (you'll recognize some of this from the video, so you can compare with the in-the-room tone):
Sims Gain 1
Sims Gain 2
To compare, here's the Sims through the JSX and TS7:
Next up is Justin with the Sims through the Roadster channel 1, tweed, with the gain on the TS7 turned up to 8 on Hot Mode:
Sims Hot Mode
And lastly, the Agile 3100 through the Roadster and TS7:
And, for you re-amp/plugin/POD guys, here's some raw DI clips to play with, all played (badly) by me
Ibanez AX110XL Duncan JB -> Bodenhamer TS7
Sims Custom Bridge Pickup -> Bodenhamer TS7
Sims Custom - Position 1 - Bridge Pickup
Sims Custom - Position 2 - Bridge and Neck Pickups
Sims Custom - Position 3 - Neck Pickup
Sims Custom - Position 4 - Bridge Split + Neck HB Parallel
Sims Custom - Position 1 - Bridge Pickup Split
Thanks for doing this, Aaron! It was a blast, and I feel like I should have had some concrete riffs to play . I should have gone through each channel to show how I have it set up, but I wasn't aware you were just recording everything . I think the stuff you played on the ibby sounded really solid, actually .
Looking forward to hearing what you guys think!